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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

    Lois Leveen 9781476757445

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2 Burnside Literature- A to Z

Until I Find You

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Until I Find You Cover

ISBN13: 9780345479723
ISBN10: 0345479726
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"According to his mother, Jack Burns was an actor before he was an actor, but Jack's most vivid memories of childhood were those moments when he felt compelled to hold his mother's hand. He wasn't acting then."

So begins John Irving's eleventh novel, Until I Find You — the story of the actor Jack Burns. His mother, Alice, is a Toronto tattoo artist. When Jack is four, he travels with Alice to several North Sea ports; they are trying to find Jack's missing father, William, a church organist who is addicted to being tattooed. But Alice is a mystery, and William can't be found. Even Jack's memories are subject to doubt.

Jack Burns goes to schools in Canada and New England, but what shapes him are his relationships with older women. John Irving renders Jack's life as an actor in Hollywood with the same richness of detail and range of emotions he uses to describe the tattoo parlors in those North Sea ports and the reverberating music Jack heard as a child in European churches.

The author's tone — indeed, the narrative voice of this novel — is melancholic. ("In increments both measurable and not, our childhood is stolen from us — not always in one momentous event but often in a series of small robberies, which add up to the same loss.") Until I Find You is suffused with overwhelming sadness and deception; it is also a robust and comic novel, certain to be compared to John Irving's most ambitious and moving work.

Review:

"No John Irving novel is any easy read; he'd rather take the long way home than the easy path. Yet it's always an unpredictable journey, and once you emerge from the emotional briar patch, you find yourself sad that it's over, and ready to take the trip again." Rocky Mountain News

Review:

"Until I Find You, an often stunningly visual novel, is burdened by bloat. One can easily imagine a pared-down, vivid film version." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"[A] bloated and lugubrious new novel....Jack's 'melancholic logorrhea' might yield some useful therapeutic results, but in terms of storytelling, it makes for a tedious, self-indulgent and cruelly eye-glazing read." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Review:

"On the surface, the book seems to be a galloping sexual bildungsroman. And yet, beneath the farce, a slow undercurrent of sorrow makes itself felt....[There] might be [an] intriguing 300-page novel secreted inside this sprawling, uneven one." Chicago Tribune

Review:

"Irving's 11th novel may disappoint longtime fans — this is a quieter, more contemplative journey than his previous works, requiring some patience and reflection....[A] rewarding and meaningful experience." Library Journal

Review:

"[T]he book's second half is so much more lively, you can't help but wish Irving had packed even bigger chunks of Hollywood into this jumbo volume....[T]he results are worth reading even if they end up filling only half a book. (Grade: B-)" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"At more than 800 pages, Until I Find You takes the crown for the best longest novel of recent years....Irving lays on a lot of charming comedy." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"All in all, this is a wonderfully thought-provoking book. Despite its length and heft (I was afraid of dropping it on my foot), its artistry is so compelling that I'm considering reading it again. How weird is that?" Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"It does go on and on, and someone, somewhere in the production line at Garp Enterprises, Ltd., should have advised John Irving not to rush to print until he'd crafted pain into art, as he's done so masterfully before." Marianne Wiggins, The Washington Post

Review:

"Some novels are simply too long, and this is one of them. The framework of the plot cannot support so much detail and so many prolonged scenes....[B]y a third of the way through this almost impenetrable tale, no one will care." Booklist

Synopsis:

In this absorbing and moving book about obsession and loss, truth and storytelling, Jack seeks a sense of identity and father figures while accommodating a host of overbearing and elaborately dysfunctional women.

About the Author

John Irving has won an O. Henry Award, a National Book Award, and an Oscar. Until I Find You is his eleventh novel. He lives in Vermont and Toronto.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

jennieotto, January 19, 2010 (view all comments by jennieotto)
Like all of John Irvings books, this one didn't disappoint! It's a long book that kept me enthralled the entire time. Great story, great characters, great book! I have recommended it to all of my friends, and my copy has been in the hand of many friends.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
bk128483, October 2, 2006 (view all comments by bk128483)
Irving has built a beautifully described trip (although a little long) across his many trademark topics (wrestling, Amsterdam, women, parental and sibling love). My heart broke with joy when Jack encountered and connected with his sister Heather. As to the ending....read it and see (keep the tissues handy).
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(9 of 14 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 2 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780345479723
Author:
Irving, John
Publisher:
Ballantine Books
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Actors
Subject:
Fathers and sons
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
fiction;novel;tattoos;american;family;tattoo;coming of age;canada;tattoo artists;amsterdam;usa;contemporary;contemporary fiction;actors;literary;literature;american fiction;father;childhood;music;21st century;growing up;mothers and sons;sexual abuse;sex;e
Subject:
fiction;novel;tattoos;american;family;tattoo;coming of age;canada;tattoo artists;amsterdam;usa;contemporary;contemporary fiction;actors;literary;literature;american fiction;father;childhood;music;21st century;growing up;mothers and sons;sexual abuse;sex;e
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20060531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
848
Dimensions:
8 x 5.2 x 1.4 in 1.2956 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Until I Find You Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.50 In Stock
Product details 848 pages Ballantine Books - English 9780345479723 Reviews:
"Review" by , "No John Irving novel is any easy read; he'd rather take the long way home than the easy path. Yet it's always an unpredictable journey, and once you emerge from the emotional briar patch, you find yourself sad that it's over, and ready to take the trip again."
"Review" by , "Until I Find You, an often stunningly visual novel, is burdened by bloat. One can easily imagine a pared-down, vivid film version."
"Review" by , "[A] bloated and lugubrious new novel....Jack's 'melancholic logorrhea' might yield some useful therapeutic results, but in terms of storytelling, it makes for a tedious, self-indulgent and cruelly eye-glazing read."
"Review" by , "On the surface, the book seems to be a galloping sexual bildungsroman. And yet, beneath the farce, a slow undercurrent of sorrow makes itself felt....[There] might be [an] intriguing 300-page novel secreted inside this sprawling, uneven one."
"Review" by , "Irving's 11th novel may disappoint longtime fans — this is a quieter, more contemplative journey than his previous works, requiring some patience and reflection....[A] rewarding and meaningful experience."
"Review" by , "[T]he book's second half is so much more lively, you can't help but wish Irving had packed even bigger chunks of Hollywood into this jumbo volume....[T]he results are worth reading even if they end up filling only half a book. (Grade: B-)"
"Review" by , "At more than 800 pages, Until I Find You takes the crown for the best longest novel of recent years....Irving lays on a lot of charming comedy."
"Review" by , "All in all, this is a wonderfully thought-provoking book. Despite its length and heft (I was afraid of dropping it on my foot), its artistry is so compelling that I'm considering reading it again. How weird is that?"
"Review" by , "It does go on and on, and someone, somewhere in the production line at Garp Enterprises, Ltd., should have advised John Irving not to rush to print until he'd crafted pain into art, as he's done so masterfully before."
"Review" by , "Some novels are simply too long, and this is one of them. The framework of the plot cannot support so much detail and so many prolonged scenes....[B]y a third of the way through this almost impenetrable tale, no one will care."
"Synopsis" by , In this absorbing and moving book about obsession and loss, truth and storytelling, Jack seeks a sense of identity and father figures while accommodating a host of overbearing and elaborately dysfunctional women.
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